Wednesday, August 13, 2008

First day of preschool

Ryan was very excited to go to preschool. We had been talking about it for a few weeks. But, as you can see from the photo with me (taken right outside the door) he was nervous. When we toured the school we were the only ones there, so I'm not sure he was expecting all the kids. The night we went back for open house we were outside so I think it was a little confusing for him. Plus, on the first day its a bit hectic. They have to teach the kids the routine of hanging up their bag, getting their "color" of the day (its a small clothes pin) and then sitting at the table to do their fine motor skills work (this time it was trying to draw a straight line). This is all done during the drop off phase. It gives the parents time to talk to the teachers if necessary, but still keeps the kids contained. When he is done he puts his paper in the basket and gives his teacher his clothespin. The clothes pin is their way of doing attendance. The teachers attach the pins to their aprons so they know who is there. They spend the next few minutes doing puzzles until all the kids have arrived and parents have left.
I stood in the back watching him and he wasn't looking around for me. I got a bit misty eyed wondering how I was going to walk away. This was the first time he was left with someone other than family or a super close friend. I was glad he wasn't crying or staying by my side, but I just wasn't sure I would be able to say bye without breaking down. Ofcourse he decided he was done with puzzles and took toys out. I knew he wasn't supposed to and went over to tell him no. I got the standard "but i just playin mom." At that time I realized that it was their rules and he was going to have to hear it from his teachers. I told him I loved him, to be good and "do sharing", and that I would be back. There was a bit of a crack in my voice. For the next few minutes I had some paperwork to fill out and I went into another room. Every once in a while I'd hear his voice say something like "thats a starfish." I also heard a gentle reminder of "Ryan, we are finishing our puzzles right now and not playing trucks." What I LOVED was that I heard his teacher ask him to pick a new puzzle and do it with her. I even peeked around the corner and she went over and grabbed his hand, they found a puzzle, then sat on the floor together. He is not a puzzle kid, but I also understand he needs to follow directions. I know the puzzle time yesterday lasted a bit longer than ususal because of the parents still being around and just trying to get everything done.
After my paperwork I caught one of the teacher's eye (2 teachers, 7 kids each) and let her know I was leaving. She looked in his direction and said he looked fine, and that if there was going to be a problem she expected it would have happened already. Then his teacher saw me and I waved, and walked out the door. I'm pretty sure if I would have went straight to my car I would have had a meltdown. Luckily another mom was leaving and we chatted for a bit. Turns out she lives in the court of our "favorite" house that we bid on and didn't get--twice. So, we had a nice talk about the housing market and then I got in the car and felt ok. Its not that I don't want some time alone, cuz I do, and its not like I don't have a million things I need to do. I think it was more of a worried feeling. I knew he was unsure and I wanted to protect him. What if the other kids didn't want to play with him outside? What if he really didn't think I was coming back?
Though I had planned on going to the gym, I decided not to. I felt kind of out of it. I went home, caught up on e-mail, read some blogs, then cleaned out his toy box downstairs. By that time it was time to pick him up. 3 hrs is not that long. When I was driving to pick him up, it felt like something was missing. That is the only way I could describe it. I am so used to being with him, and being in the house and car without him is just weird.
They line the kids up inside and walk them out when its not bad weather. He really was excited to see me, which made me feel good. He ran up to me and hugged me and I told him "I told you I would be back." "I told you" is one of his favorite sayings. I checked in with his teacher to see if there were any major problems and she said he looked sad during their story about an animal that misses his mom on his first day of school, but there was no crying or asking to go home. She said he had a lot of fun playing outside. When we got to the car I asked him questions about what he had for snack, and what letter they worked on. Then as a treat we went to McDonalds. I even let him get a Sprite.
So, the next thing to tackle is poop potty training. We seem to have pee down. But, because of the poop issue, I have to continue to send him in a pull up. I've also noticed that he doesn't really pull down his own pants, etc., so we need to work on that or he'll never be able to do it at school alone.

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